Department of History
Co-sponsored by the Center for Austrian Studies and the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World
The history of climate science is just beginning to be written. Most versions to date have focused on the development of computerized general circulation models since World War Two. It is time to imagine a deeper, broader history of climate science. Such a narrative would begin not in the late twentieth century but in the early modern world. It would track the emergence of climate as a holistic, variable, and multiscalar concept, driven largely by the dynamics of empire-building in central Europe and beyond. Only by means of such a capacious history can we communicate to the public the depth and breadth of the foundations of our knowledge of climate change.